Tuesday, August 6, 2013

■ EGYPT: Cairo's proposed aerotropolis, "Cairo AeroCity", attracts $3billion in initial bids.

Egypt flagEgypt's new Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr Abdel Aziz Fadel, says Cairo International Airport's Aerotropolis proposal, dubbed Cairo AeroCity, has thus far attracted USD3billion in initial bids in spite of the unstable political situation currently prevailing in the country.

The aerotropolis proposal - Cairo AeroCity
Mr Fadel said while the feedback had been good, his ministry is still awaiting approval from the cabinet to begin work on the first stage of the Aerotropolis project, set to require 480'000sqm of land and which will provide over 30'000 new jobs once underway.

The Aero City's lay out will consist of a Front Zone including a commercial complex constructed on 479'300sqm with shops, commercial centres, 18 cinema halls, food courts and entertainment facilities. The Back Zone (or Leisure Zone), to be constructed on 2.3million sqm, will include five star hotels, a Disneyland themepark, lakes and dancing fountains, an open air theatre, an Aqua Park, restaurants and a food outlet. The preliminary estimate shows that the first phase is due to be completed within 36 months.

The Civil Aviation Ministry intends to establish an MRO company as well.

A meeting is scheduled to be held with the country’s finance ministry, during which the details of the project’s first stage would be agreed upon. A report detailing the results of the meeting would then be forwarded to the cabinet and the Ministry of Investment for final approval before going ahead.

Under the previous administration there had been some concerns raised by Mr Tariq Wafiq, the previous Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, who had criticised the chosen location for the project, saying it would negatively impact traffic in the area before proposing it be moved to the area surrounding 6th of October City airport, a satellite city and part of the urban area of Cairo, 32 km outside the city itself.

The ambitious Aerotropolis project will be the first of three similar projects to be built in the capital, Alexandria (Burg Al Arab airport) and at Port Said airport with aims of attracting USD20billion in investments. The Civil Aviation Ministry, in collaboration with Icon, a British aviation firm, are said to have finalized the final strategy required to build the mammoth 10million sqm project needed to meet anticipated passenger throughput growth at Cairo airport expected to reach 70 million by 2022.